If you know a ludophile on your list (whether they’re a seasoned chess player, a rookie who picked it up in quarantine, or simply a fan of The Queen’s Gambit) — then a hyperspecific chess board would make for a thoughtful gift. Whomever you’re buying for — someone with minimalist tastes, a pop-culture junkie, or a history buff, we’ve found an option for everyone’s taste. Below, we’ve rounded up some of our favourites, all of which you can buy on Amazon.
The pieces in this black-and-white set are actually made from a plastic composite, rather than wood (which can corrode over time). This would be perfect for a minimalist friend whose home is decked in neutrals.
Hand-carved in Poland, this chess set consists of a case for the pieces that unfolds into the board. While the board itself is made from beech, the pieces are hornbeam and sycamore — and features small details, such as the contrast wood on the king and queen pieces.
This set is carved from stone in Jaipur — the pieces can be stored inside, which is lined in a vivid purple velvet. [Editor’s note: This product is low in stock.]
Sadly the pieces won’t move themselves, but this set, based on the one in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, would be nice for a Potterhead.
This something-for-everyone set includes chess, draughts, ludo, snakes and ladders, noughts and crosses, backgammon, and Chinese checkers.
If space is at a premium, then this set, which features a roll-up board made from tear-resistant vinyl, can be stashed away in a drawer or cupboard easily. [Editor’s note: This item arrives after Christmas.]
If you’re looking for a chess set for a godson or nephew who is a bit on the fence, this LEGO set can be repurposed into something else if he loses interest. [Editor’s note: This product is low in stock.]
This inexpensive set costs just over £10 — perfect for a last-minute gift.
This matroyshka edition is very cheering.
This Batman versus Joker set features some enjoyably goofy pieces, such as the ‘BANG’ prop pistol and the Bat-Signal pawns. [Editor’s note: This product arrives after Christmas.]
While not a classic chess set, this “memory chess” game is designed to help children learn. The pegs are placed colour-side down, and players must roll the dice to determine which colour they need to look for.
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